Published on February 22, 2016 by Sean Flynt  
Samford Debaters Natalie Bennie and Marley Davis
Samford Debaters Natalie Bennie and Marley Davis

Samford University’s debate team had great team and individual success at the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) Southeast District Tournament at Emory University Feb. 19–21, and qualified to compete at the National Debate Tournament to be held at Binghamton University March 31–April 4.

The Samford varsity team of Natalie Bennie of Brentwood, Tennessee, and Marley Davis of Mount Olive, Alabama, won five of its six preliminary debates en route to qualifying for nationals, defeating teams from Vanderbilt University, Wake Forest University, Emory University and the University of Georgia. Bennie was named fourth speaker. Davis was named sixth speaker.

The junior varsity team of Hope Reamer of Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Ashley Herring of Chattanooga, Tennessee, advanced to the final four of the tournament, defeating teams from Florida State University, the University of Florida and the University of Miami. Herring was named fifth speaker. Reamer was named sixth speaker. Reamer won the JV Debater of the Year honor for the region.

The team of Carly Davis of Windermere, Florida, and Wesley Staples of Killen, Alabama, also competed. Davis was named Novice Debater of the Year for the region.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.